I hate being wet, I hate being cold, and I hate grocery stores. One nasty day when I was living in New York, I needed food. And I mean desperately. Nothing other than fear of starvation would drive me into a New York City grocery store. I was living in the Bronx but working in Brooklyn. The grocery store in the Bronx was big and daunting, so when my husband said I had to pick up food or there would be no breakfast, I decided to pick up a few things in Brooklyn. The grocery store there was small and had almost no selection, making it simple to choose what to buy. No big deal, right?
I finished work and went to the store. It was pouring, but I had my galoshes and umbrella. I was rain proof! I bought two big bags of groceries, which is a huge emotional accomplishment for me, and headed to the subway. After one block, my left boot started leaking. Halfway through the third block, my umbrella was caught by the wind and broken. By the time I reached the subway, I was wet, cold, and most of the way to tears. I couldn’t even call my mother to cry since there was no cell phone reception. I finally got on the train and managed to find a seat. I sat down and went to put the groceries between my feet. As I lifted my bags, both of them broke.
My soaking wet groceries rolled all over the subway car, and I started to cry. A little old lady who I am fairly certain did not speak English patted me on the arm and stood up, even though the subway car was in motion. She picked up all of my food before I even knew what was happening while the rest of Brooklyn’s little old lady mafia consolidated their groceries. Before we reached the next stop, all of my groceries were double bagged and placed nicely between my feet. I tried to thank the ladies, but they disappeared into the mist of the subway station.
Okay, so maybe there was no mist, but there should have been. A really cool mist rising from the floor as their hero theme song played. That was one of the kindest moments I experienced while living in New York. They didn’t ask for anything in return, they just helped the sopping wet, crying girl out of the kindness of their hearts.